NEC Philharmonia + Mei-Ann Chen: Clyne, Dukas, Strauss, Tchaikovsky

NEC: Jordan Hall | Directions

290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
United States

Guest conductor, and NEC alumna, and Trustee  Mei-Ann Chen ('95, '98 MM), leads the NEC Philharmonia in a performance of Anna Clyne's Masquerade, Dukas The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, and the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1.  The Tchaikovsky soloist is Andrew Li '23 MM, the winner of the annual concerto competition.

Mei-Ann Chen was the first student in New England Conservatory’s history to receive master’s degrees simultaneously in both violin and conducting.

Read more about Mei-Ann

This is an in-person event with a private stream available to the NEC community here

  • Andrew Li '23 MM, piano
  1. Anna Clyne | Masquerade (2013)

    Program note

    Masquerade draws inspiration from the original mid-18th century promenade concerts held in London’s pleasure gardens. As is true today, these concerts were a place where people from all walks of life mingled to enjoy a wide array of music. Other forms of entertainment ranged from the sedate to the salacious with acrobatics, exotic street entertainers, dancers, fireworks and masquerades. I am fascinated by the historic and sociological courtship between music and dance. Combined with costumes, masked guises and elaborate settings, masquerades created an exciting, yet controlled, sense of occasion and celebration. It is this that I wish to evoke in Masquerade.

    The work derives its material from two melodies. For the main theme, I imagined a chorus welcoming the audience and inviting them into their imaginary world. The second theme, Juice of Barley, is an old English country dance melody and drinking song, which first appeared in John Playford’s 1695 edition of The English Dancing Master.

    -Anna Clyne

    Masquerade was commissioned by the BBC and received its premiere at the 2013 Last Night of the Proms.

  2. Paul Dukas | The Sorcerer's Apprentice

  3. Richard Strauss | Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, op. 28

  4. Intermission

  5. Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky | Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, op. 23

    Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso – Allegro con spirito
    Andantino semplice – Prestissimo – Tempo I

    Allegro con fuoco – Molto meno mosso – Allegro vivo


    Andrew Li '23 MM

    Andrew Li credits his time in the Harvard University/New England Conservatory of Music joint program with substantially aiding in his development as a musician and a human being. He was exposed to music from a very early age, primarily from listening to his older brother George practice, and began piano lessons with Dorothy Shi at the age of 6. He graduated cum laude from Harvard with a bachelor's degree in human evolutionary biology and is currently finishing his master’s in piano performance at NEC, the latter under the guidance of Wha Kyung Byun, with whom he has studied since the age of 12.
            He is a winner of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition and the Harvard Music Association Achievement Awards, as well as a prizewinner at numerous international competitions, such as the Cooper International Piano Competition, Hilton Head International Piano Competition, and Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition. He has been presented by the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts, the Chopin Foundation of the United States, the Rockport Music Festival, the Vancouver Recital Society, and the Steinway Society - the Bay Area. Most recently, he was awarded Harvard College’s Robert Levin Prize in Musical Performance and was a Quarterfinalist and recipient of the Raymond E. Buck Jury Discretionary Award at the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

            Andrew has previously performed with the Boston, Minnesota, Boston Civic, Hilton Head, Symphony Pro Musica, Glens Falls, Lexington, and NEC Youth Symphony Orchestras, and has appeared in venues such as Boston’s Symphony and Jordan Halls, Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall, Vancouver Playhouse, Warner Concert Hall, and Shalin Liu Performance Center. He has been featured on NPR’s From the Top, both as soloist and with his trio.

    • Andrew Li '23 MM, piano
  6. About Mei-Ann Chen

    Praised for her dynamic, passionate conducting style, Taiwanese American conductor Mei-Ann Chen is acclaimed for infusing orchestras with energy, enthusiasm and high-level music-making, galvanizing audiences and communities alike. Music Director of the MacArthur Award-winning Chicago Sinfonietta since 2011, Ms. Chen has been Chief Conductor of Austria’s recreation - Grosses Orchester Graz at Styriarte since fall 2021 after two seasons as the orchestra’s first-ever Principal Guest Conductor, making her the first female Asian conductor to hold this position with an Austrian orchestra. She continues as the first-ever Artistic Partner of Houston’s ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra), a post she was named to in 2019. She began her new role as Artistic Partner with Washington state's Northwest Sinfonietta this fall. Highly regarded as a compelling communicator and an innovative leader both on and off the podium, and a sought-after guest conductor, Ms. Chen continues to expand her relationships with orchestras worldwide (over 120 orchestras to date).
            Maestra Chen’s upcoming 2022-23 season engagements include – in addition to her duties with Chicago Sinfonietta 35th anniversary, Austria’s recreation - Grosses Orchester Graz at Styriarte , Texas’ ROCO, and Washington’s Northwest Sinfonietta (in her first season as Artistic Partner) – debuts with Germany’s Staatsorchester Darmstadt, Orchestra national Capitole Toulouse (her France debut), and in the US with the Rochester and Buffalo philharmonic orchestras, and the Hawaii Symphony. Return guest engagements in the United States include the American Composers Orchestra (in a program presented by Carnegie Hall featuring Mark Adama’s Last Year (NY premiere) and two world premieres: a Carnegie Hall co-commission by Yvette Janine Jackson, and one be Inti Figgis-Vizeuta), California’s Pacific Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Santa Fe Pro Musica, and in Sweden with Norrlandsoperan.

            Recent guesting highlights include England’s BBC Symphony in London, Finland’s Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Liechtenstein Symphony Orchestra, Norway’s Oslo Philharmonic and Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Het Residentie Orkest in The Netherlands, Malmö and Norrlandsoperan in Sweden, Taiwan Philharmonic, Spain’s Basque National Orchestra, Austria’s Tonkünstler-Orchester, Finland’s Tampere Filharmonia, Germany’s Musikalische Adademie des Nationaltheater-Orchestesters Mannheim, and NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover, Sweden’s Gävle and Helsingborg Symphonies, Switzerland’s Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra at Weiwuying (the world’s largest performing arts center since 2018), in addition to US return engagements with the San Francisco, Atlanta, Detroit, Pacific and Toledo symphonies.
            Other North American guesting credits include appearances with symphonies of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, National, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle, Toronto, Tucson, and Vancouver, to name a few. Amongst her overseas guesting credits are the symphonies of BBC Scottish; Brazil’s São Paulo (OSESP); Denmark’s National, Aalborg, Aarhus, Odense and Copenhagen Philharmonic; Germany’s Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe; Mexico’s National; Norway’s Trondheim; Sweden’s Gothenburg and Norrköping; Switzerland’s Basel; and Turkey’s Bilkent in Ankara.
            As Music Director of Chicago Sinfonietta, Ms. Chen has made two recordings for Cedille Records: Project W - Works by Diverse Women Composers (March 2019, nominated for GRAMMY® Award for Producer of the Year, Jim Ginsburg) and Delights and Dances (June 2013). In 2018, Innova Records released River Oaks Chamber Orchestra's debut album ROCO: Visions Take Flight (recognized with a GRAMMY® Award for Producer of the Year, Blanton Alspaugh) featuring 5 commissioned contemporary works conducted by Ms. Chen.
            Past honors include being named one of the 2015 Top 30 Influencers by Musical America; the 2012 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras; Winner, the 2007 Taki Concordia Fellowship founded by Marin Alsop; and 2005 First Prize Winner of the Malko Competition (she remains as the only woman in the competition history since 1965 to have won First Prize). Ms. Chen is Conductor Laureate of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra after serving as Music Director 2010–2016, and also served as Artistic Director and Conductor for the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Summer Festival from 2016–2021).
            Born in Taiwan, Ms. Chen came to the United States to study violin in 1989 and became the first student in New England Conservatory’s history to receive master’s degrees simultaneously in both violin and conducting; she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting at the University of Michigan.

  7. Personnel

    First Violin
    Hyeon Hong
    Hannah O’Brien
    Evelyn Song
    Jordan Hadrill
    June Chung
    Wangrui Ray Xu
    Hanks Tsai
    Arun Asthagiri
    Yilei Yin
    Nick Hammel
    Masha Lakisova
    Seunghee Lee
    Tong Chen
    Eunha Kim

    Second Violin
    Clayton Hancock
    Justus Ross
    Ian Hsu
    Yixiang Wang
    SooBeen Lee
    Hyeonah Hong
    Kaitlyn Knudsvig
    Anna Junghyun Lee
    Yeonsoo Kim
    Jaewon Wee
    Yiliang Jiang
    Chloe Hong

    Lisa Sung
    Njord Fossnes
    Wonjeong Seol
    Haoyang Shi
    Rituparna Mukherjee
    Kwong Man To
    ChengRong Li
    Junghyun Ahn
    Yi Chia Chen
    Asher Boorstin
    Jacqueline Armbruster
    Lydia Plaut


    Claire Park
    Lexine Feng
    Davis You
    Travis Scharer
    Adi Muralidharan
    Eva Sánchez-Vegazo
    Jiho Seo
    Jonathan Salman
    Ga-Yeon Kim
    Nathan Le

    Shion Kim
    Minyi Wang
    Yihan Wu

    Yu-Cih Chang
    Cailin Singleton
    Christopher Laven

    Chia-Fen Chang
    Anne Chao *
    Anna Kevelson §
    Yechan Min +
    Subin Serena Oh
    Erika Rohrberg
    Dianne Seo ‡

    Anna Kevelson +
    Subin Serena Oh *
    Erika Rohrberg §

    Dane Bennett
    Donovan Bown §
    Kian Hirayama *
    Sojeong Kim
    Kelley Osterberg
    Sam Rockwood

    English horn
    Sam Rockwood

    Tyler J. Bourque +
    Hyunwoo Chun *
    Aleksis Martin §
    Erica Smith ‡

    E-flat Clarinet
    Hyunwoo Chun

    Bass Clarinet
    Thomas Acey

    Andy Brooks
    John Fulton
    Miranda Macias §
    Erik Paul *
    Julien Rollins ‡
    Richard Vculek +

    Garrett Comrie

    French horn
    Karlee Kamminga *
    Xiang Li §
    Huimin Mandy Liu
    Hannah Messenger
    Tess Reagan
    Tasha Schapiro ‡
    Sophie Steger +


    Jake Baldwin +
    Michael Harms ‡
    Reynolds Martin *
    Jon-Michael Taylor §

    Michael Harms
    Reynolds Martin

    Puyuan Chen ‡
    Lukas Helsel *
    Alex Knutrud §
    Zachary Johnson +
    Jianlin Sha

    Bass Trombone
    Chance Gompert ‡
    Ki Yoon Park +*
    Luke Sieve §

    Jimmy Curto §
    Masaru Lin *

    Eli Geruschat *
    Danial Kukuk +
    Parker Olson §
    Yiming Yao ‡

    Eli Geruschat
    Danial Kukuk
    Pei Hsien Lu §*
    Parker Olson +
    Leigh Wilson
    Yiming Yao

    Yvonne Cox *
    Shaylen Joos +


    Principal players
    * Clyne
    + Dukas
    § Strauss